Turnbull’s chosen energy supremo says wind is cheaper than coal

On Thursday, at the Energy Users Conference, the government’s chosen head of the chive quango running the electricity supply industry, Kerry Schott, remarked that coal plants could no longer compete. According to The Australian (her speech has not been made public) she said “you are unlikely to see a new coal-fired generation plant unless there is a change in technology and a decline in the price of coal”.

Had she simply wandered off her politics-free advisory role and opined that, given the level of agitation against coal, a new plant is unlikely, her remarks would have been unexceptional. But her clear inference is that coal is now behind exotic renewables in the price pecking order.

This shows an unawareness of the 1000 plus generators under construction around the world, including in Japan where coal’s role has been elevated to supply 30 per cent of electricity by 2030, with 36 new plants, compared to 10 per cent previously envisaged. Nor is she aware of different generation costs, including that of the thorough analysis commissioned by the Minerals Council which showed new coal plant, even with costs to reduce emission levels (though not the elusive carbon capture and storage technology), could be built in Australia to be profitable at $40 per MWh.

If renewable plant could be built to provide energy at such a price we would now still be seeing electricity at the $40 per MWh price we saw in 2015 before the renewable bite brought a doubling of prices. Renewables, as well as getting the $80 per MWh market price also get the Renewable Energy Target (RET) subsidy of $85. There are alleged renewable contracts at some $60 but in all cases the subsidy would be added to this.

Minister Frydenberg has suggested in his 2gb conversation with Alan Jones that, come 2022, the RET subsidy will disappear as renewables will have become so cheap that it will be competed away. Such pie-in-the -sky notions have been unconsummated for thirty years – and are only possible four years hence if the spot price becomes $100 as a result of the retirement or mothballing of fossil plant. Needless to say $100 per MWh would be disastrous for Australian industry competitiveness and for living standards.

 

Ms Schott has a lengthy cv advising governments since the Whitlam days and has links wth the PM from when he ran a consultancy with Nicholas Whitlam. Her most recent managerial job was as CEO of Sydney Water when she embarked upon a massive desalination plant, said to be necessary but unused since being commissioned in 2007.

She has had little experience in energy but had been somewhat consistent in her attitude to renewables, a consistency that was doubtless a recommendation to the PM in picking her for the ESB. Her position on the future of electricity persuaded her to advise the NSW government that it was a good deal to sell Vales Point for $1 million, an asset now worth $750 million. Nor did she see any point in offloading a relatively well maintained Liddell to AGL for a nominal sum, providing the firm with market power without seeking assurances that it would be kept operation for the following 15 years.

Minister Canavan said he has “asked Ms Schott to explain what evidence she is relying on to make these conclusions”, falling not far short of the demand by the Parliament’s leading energy specialist, Craig Kelly, that she resign. She now says she was not trying to be political and that the NEG she is responsible for is technology neutral, a point forcefully asserted by Minister Frydenberg.

But Ms Schott was really only belling that cat. The NEG cannot be technology neutral. It is designed to ensure a lower level of emissions from electricity production than would otherwise occur. It cannot be other than a set of regulations designed to adversely affect the competitiveness of the more CO2 intensive coal fuelled generators.

The complexity of electricity and its susceptibility to slogans, like those that say “sunlight is free”, mean even the most sceptical politicians (and bureaucrats) are reluctant to offer views that risk the assault of the well financed subsidy-driven lobby that has the support of vacuous and shouty greens. But unless they do the future is one of continued deindustrialisation and living standards markedly lower than they should be.

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65 Responses to Turnbull’s chosen energy supremo says wind is cheaper than coal

  1. How far down the pecking order will the Purge need to go to rid ourselves of this lunacy? And who can we trust to carry it out?
    This is treason most foul.

  2. zyconoclast says:

    (her speech has not been made public) she said “you are unlikely to see a new coal-fired generation plant unless there is a change in technology and a decline in the price of coal”.

    Ms Schott has a lengthy cv advising governments since the Whitlam days and has links with the PM from when he ran a consultancy with Nicholas Whitlam.

    Does this PM ever employ anyone he doesn’t personally know?
    Of course not. It follows the basic rule, never hold an enquiry unless you know the outcome in advance.

  3. Pete of Perth says:

    We are ruled by unelected idiots. We have no right to laugh at Venezuela.

  4. We are ruled by unelected idiots. We have no right to laugh at Venezuela.

    We are ruled by corrupt, gullible, traitorous, science/engineering/economic illiterate idiots.

    The carbon dioxide (~0.04% of the atmosphere) scam needs to be put down. Quickly.

  5. manalive says:

    Turnbull’s chosen energy supremo says wind is cheaper than coal …

    That would refer to Lucy Turnbull I assume.

  6. Roger. says:

    We are ruled by corrupt, gullible, traitorous, science/engineering/economic illiterate idiots.

    Horne’s second raters have by now become third raters, notwithstanding their degrees from Oxford (Turnbull) or Harvard (Frydenberg). They are so corrupt/gullible/traitorous/scientifically and economically illiterate that they can’t even maintain /re-establish a legislative framework for cheap and reliable electricity in a country that has one of the largest energy reserves in the world. It’s almost enough to make one eager to welcome our soon to be Chinese overlords.

  7. cohenite says:

    They are so corrupt/gullible/traitorous/scientifically and economically illiterate that they can’t even maintain /re-establish a legislative framework for cheap and reliable electricity in a country that has one of the largest energy reserves in the world.

    That takes some effort.

  8. Entropy says:

    Sunlight is free, but capturing sunlight is very expensive.

  9. Dave of Reedy Creek, Qld says:

    I guess this person got her position on her gender, it certainly didn’t come by brains, facts or truthfulness. What a load of astonishing rubbish, our swamp is deeper and murkier than the US. The willful blindness on so called global warming is staggering and Australian are amongst the most naive and dumb. The only thing worst is our totally dopey politicians.

  10. manalive says:

    … her clear inference is that coal is now behind exotic renewables in the price pecking order …
    Minister Frydenberg has suggested … renewables will have become so cheap that it will be competed away …

    It’s blatant untruths like that coming the government spokespeople that drive voters crazy.

  11. RobK says:

    The fish rots from the head. An extensive purge is needed.

  12. Robbo says:

    “Ms Schott has a lengthy cv advising governments since the Whitlam days and has links wth the PM from when he ran a consultancy with Nicholas Whitlam.”

    “She has had little experience in energy”

    There’s no doubt about the Turnbull Government, they certainly know how to pick a loser.

  13. candy says:

    She is, as they say, the new Flannery, to bring the greenish/leftish votes over to the LNP.
    M. Turnbull really is very wily.

    TA has getting back into coal, including State owned, if needs be. A straightforward policy. M. Turnbull has the NEG and renewables and being enlightened about the future relying on renewables. (nonsense), but I think he can sell it as he is the most suave and urbane PM ever with the support of the elites.

  14. Mark M says:

    “There are currently 273 gigawatts of coal capacity under construction around the world, and another 570 gigawatts in the pipeline, the UN says.

    That would represent a 42% increase in global energy production from coal.”

    The UN Admits That The Paris Climate Deal Was A Fraud

    https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/the-un-admits-that-the-paris-climate-deal-was-a-fraud/

    Yet elite Australian politicians all confirm they are committed to this carrying out this treasonous fraud on hard-working deplorable Australians.

    Purging this will take more than a ballot paper.

  15. lotocoti says:

    There’s no doubt about the Turnbull Government, they certainly know how to pick a loser.

    Not if you find #winning distasteful.

  16. Dr Fred Lenin says:

    Remove the subsidies from scam energy,remove the imposts designed to destroy coal, let’s have a level playing field here . Refuse to allow intermittent energy in to the grid ,only energy that is available 24/7 allowed . and build a nuclear power plant in SA where the uranium is mined ,plus coal fired in Vic. NSWand Qld .Watch the carpetbaggers scuttle for the exit back overseas ,watch the union bosses try to explain where members super money went. Then hound the carpetbaggers in courts to pay for the removal of the eyesores they created ,include politicians assets in the repay scheme .

  17. Fang says:

    If renewables are so dam cheap! Stop ALL subsidys/tax payer funding, to them now!
    Lets see how that stacks up! 🙂

  18. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Kerry Schott, remarked that coal plants could no longer compete

    Excellent. That means we can withdraw all subsidies from all energy generation. We can also go over to fully free market take-or-pay contracts specifying steady dispatchable electricity supply by the generators.

    What, wind and solar can’t do that? So sad. They’ll have to buy some batteries then to compete on an equal footing.

  19. Pete of Perth says:

    On a happier note: Installing spacers on 765000 volt line.

  20. struth says:

    Purging this will take more than a ballot paper.

    Exactly.
    We are not governed by idiots, as so many here believe.
    This is traitorous, corrupt criminal behaviour and to let them off by believing they are stupid, somewhat shows your own naivety at the very least.
    These people are bought and paid for, criminals.
    Nothing less.
    They can’t pull off agenda 2030 by making the voters happy, hence they are doing all they can to change the voters.
    These people are traitors and should be recognised and treated as such.
    This is about a global socialist plan to move the wealth from the west and thereby being able to conquer it.

    Our head of state is the Secretary general of the U.N.
    Look him up.

  21. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Oh and I forgot this: why do state governments charge royalties to electricity generators using coal they mined when they don’t charge royalties to electricity generators using wind and solar they collected?

    For a level playing field the resource being used should be taxed by the state at the same rate.

    I suggest a per kWh rate applied to the amount of electricity generated.

  22. Fat Tony says:

    Entropy
    #2702960, posted on May 5, 2018 at 11:22 am
    Sunlight is free, but capturing sunlight is very expensive.

    The plants did that for us millions of years ago and stored it as coal.

  23. egg_ says:

    It’s almost enough to make one eager to welcome our soon to be Chinese overlords.

    Can we have Sino Bitcoiners hanging off new ‘dirty’ coal plants for Carbon Credits, on selling power to the Grid – becoming part of the climate scam, if we can’t beat it?

  24. Fat Tony says:

    Bruce of Newcastle
    #2703005, posted on May 5, 2018 at 12:26 pm
    Oh and I forgot this: why do state governments charge royalties to electricity generators using coal they mined when they don’t charge royalties to electricity generators using wind and solar they collected?

    For a level playing field the resource being used should be taxed by the state at the same rate.

    I suggest a per kWh rate applied to the amount of electricity generated.

    Bruce – that’s letting the wind/solar lot off pretty lightly……

  25. I suggest a per kWh rate applied to the amount of electricity generated.

    I suggest the removal of ALL energy taxes and subsidies.

  26. John Constantine says:

    Our turnbullites assure us that we will never waver from our signed commitments to debtfund the ritual of creating wind and sun totems out of debt, as symbolic representations of power stations.

    Once we have deindustrialised and decolonialised the place, their United Nations will arrive bearing Cargo for the new imported settlers.

    Comrades.

  27. egg_ says:

    charge royalties to electricity generators using wind and solar they collected?

    Every square meter of solar collected is energy that could be used for creation of water vapour – a climate modulator.
    Tax the bastards!

  28. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    I suggest the removal of ALL energy taxes and subsidies.

    Inco – The states are never going to give up royalties. So royalties should be charged to solar and wind and hydro too. That’s a level playing field.

    But my point is there is an undisclosed subsidy to solar and wind: forgone royalties.

    Farmers are forced to pay for water, so AGL should pay for wind.

  29. Bushkid says:

    The most polite I can be is to say that Ms Schott is talking through her arse.

    She is either totally clueless and brainwashed into the cult of the “CO2 is Demon” idiocy, or she know all too well that it IS a total scam, supported only by political ideology and government (i.e., taxpayers) subsidy money, yet pursues it nevertheless. Either way, my comment stands: She’s talking through her arse.

    So bloody typical of the stupidity of this Turnbull fiasco of a non-government we’re burdened with. Just another ruinous loser lauded and feted by the “Turnbull Coalition”. Not, of course, that an ALP/Greens one would be any better.

  30. Bushkid says:

    Entropy
    #2702960, posted on May 5, 2018 at 11:22 am
    Sunlight is free, but capturing sunlight is very expensive.

    That’s the bit they forget to tell everyone. Same for wind, of course.

  31. Tom says:

    It is stunning that, after two decades of CAGW junk science, there is still not a single Australian politician who will take the side of taxpayers against the white-collar criminals destroying our economy, cheered on by the government — that is, wreckage of the Liberal Party — and the totalitarian thugs of the media. Marx is laughing from the grave about what a pushover capitalism was in the southern hemisphere’s pre-eminent communist shithole, Australia.

  32. max says:

    Why Nations with more renewable energy have more expensive electricity.

    Attempting to understand how electricity coming from the seemingly free wind and sun could lead to a tripling of electricity prices.

    Germany — with peak electricity demand of about 83 GW — had rushed in recent years to build “renewable” capacity that had reached about 84 GW, theoretically enough to supply all the electricity they would ever need.

    But somehow, Germany still had retained fossil fuel generating capacity of about 108 GW, which is about the same fossil fuel capacity you would want to have to supply 83 GW of peak demand if you had no renewable capacity at all.

    Despite spending hundreds of billions of euros on the renewable capacity, they had not been able to get rid of any fossil fuel capacity at all!

    They still need all the fossil fuel capacity for backup when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine.

    Despite declining relative costs for wind and solar generators, the electricity they produce is still much more expensive than fossil-fueled and nuclear power.

  33. Bushkid says:

    “She has had little experience in energy”

    So why the flying f… is she holding any position involved in energy policy FFS??!!

    THIS is the sort of government and bureaucratic wilful stupidity that is making the informed among us so damned angry.

  34. RobK says:

    It is the case that hydrocarbons, burned for fuel, liberate the hydrogen and carbon for all to use as desired. No carbon (or hydrogen) is consumed, destroyed or retained. Only the stored energy is converted and on-sold. A valuable service of liberating life giving elements and harnessing the stored energy for useful work and profit (taxed), yet it attracts an aditional high royalty, for coal and oil in particular.
    The fact that on top of that coal is also forced to pay a third to half the capital cost, and guarantee market share on a random adhoc basis to an artificially induced”competitor” is just plain weird. These munchkins need to graduate from kindy first if they think this defines competition. They want to waste vast resouces of stored energy wealth. Shame on them.

  35. NB says:

    Opinions are great. But did she provide any facts to bolster her case?
    If she doesn’t provide facts, then why should I not believe the facts in this Cat article over her opinions?
    Simples, huh?

  36. egg_ says:

    Every square meter of solar collected is energy that could be used for creation of water vapour – a climate modulator.

    Note that coal fired power stations have vast landscaping, lakes and recreational facilities – greenery – whereas solar farms are heat islands, as they hate that pesky vegetation getting in the way of the vast solar array.
    Wind turbines slaughter birds by the thousands.
    All in the name of Gaia, for inner urban soyboy “Greens”.
    Comrades.

  37. herodotus says:

    Frydenberg is quoted in the Australian as saying that whether a new coal-fired power station will be built is “for the market to decide”.

    That’s it. They are duplicitous wreckers.

  38. egg_ says:

    The most polite I can be is to say that Ms Schott is talking through her arse.

    She is either totally clueless and brainwashed into the cult of the “CO2 is Demon” idiocy, or she know all too well that it IS a total scam, supported only by political ideology and government (i.e., taxpayers) subsidy money, yet pursues it nevertheless.

    Her early career included investment banking for Deutsche Bank and Whitlam Turnbull.

  39. Robber Baron says:

    Pauline Hanson looks like a great person to vote for at the next election. She has the best energy policy for Australia.

  40. Ok Troops

    Can someone explain to me HOW, how the fuck can you pay more than 4 x what i pay in Japan for fucking electricity.

    Here we import the coal, and every other resource you can imagine for a society to function, so how the fucking fuck is one of the most resource rich countries on the planet the most expensive for electricity and gas.

    You are finished as a functioning society, move to the 3rd world for a better quality of living.

  41. manalive says:

    In so-called climate change policy Turnbull is trying to claim the ‘sensible centre’ but that is where he
    is wedged, he can’t say (through Frydenberg) that his policy is necessary and good for the planet because if that were so, Labor’s policy would be even better.
    But he can’t say at least his policy is not as bad as Labor because that is an admission that it is bad, so why do it at all.
    If there is a CC emergency there is no sensible centre, if there isn’t a CC emergency why do anything?

  42. Carpe:

    Can someone explain to me HOW, how the fuck can you pay more than 4 x what i pay in Japan for fucking electricity.

    BECAUSE I AM NOT IN CHARGE OF THE FUCKING PLACE THAT’S WHY!
    My headache has won.
    I’m going to a cool dark room, with a cold drink.
    The fridge.

  43. Art Vandelay says:

    If wind and solar are cheaper than coal as she claims, then why do the renewables parasites squeal like stuck pigs whenever there’s a hint of a threat t0 their subsidies?

    And why do jurisdictions with the highest proportion of renewables have the highest power prices? (here’s an interesting read: If Solar And Wind Are So Cheap, Why Are They Making Electricity So Expensive?)

    When it comes to energy policy, our politicians and unelected bureaucrats have gone beyond economic vandalism into what is, quite frankly, criminal behaviour because their policies mean that many vulnerable Australians will die needlessly because they cannot afford to heat their homes this winter.

  44. cynical1 says:

    This is traitorous, corrupt criminal behaviour and to let them off by believing they are stupid, somewhat shows your own naivety at the very least.
    These people are bought and paid for, criminals.
    Nothing less.

    Indeed they are.

  45. miltonf says:

    another western government at war with its own people

  46. manalive says:

    Despite spending hundreds of billions of euros on the renewable capacity, they had not been able to get rid of any fossil fuel capacity at all! (max 1:19 pm).

    The growth of renewables in Germany has merely offset the closure of operating and safe nuclear generating plants.
    There has been a reduction in consumption since 2008 caused by increased efficiency and energy poverty.
    Generation using black and brown coal has remained stable hence only a very marginal reduction in CO2 emissions if at all.
    Merkel’s government announced that it would close all of its nuclear power plants by 2022 so it’s from now on that ‘the rubber hits the road’ for renewables as the saying goes.

  47. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    There has been a reduction in consumption since 2008 caused by increased efficiency and energy poverty.

    Actually CO2 emissions in Germany have been flat since 2009. All the reduction since 2008 was in that single year…due of course to the GFC. I posted on this on the other thread.

    Basically every euro spent since 2009 has done zip except increase costs to voters. Yet we want to follow Germany into carbon oblivion.

  48. John Constantine says:

    How can electricity be so expensive?.

    Decolonialisation theory has a fashionable branch, where racist settler colonies are deindustrialised through de-electrification.

    The socialised State services sector can run on ruinable electricity from totem poles honouring the wind spirits.

    Comrades.

  49. David Brewer says:

    @max
    As I recall Germany assumes for planning purposes that they can only rely on 6% of the nameplate capacity of wind. Even that may be optimistic, but it shows why, with peak demand of 83 GW, they can build 84 GW of wind power and still need 108 GW of total non-wind capacity. Their planning assumes they can only rely on 6% of the wind power capacity, i.e. 5 GW out of 84.

    Ms Schott should redo her sums using reliability factors. Multiply the cost of coal by 1.2 or so to allow for maintenance etc., multiple the cost of wind by 16, since it’s only reliable for 6 per cent of peak demand.

  50. JohnA says:

    Turnbull’s chosen energy supremo says wind is cheaper than coal …

    Only when it emerges from the speaker herself, and I can only surmise that until we see the salary package attached to this sinecure.

  51. egg_ says:

    The analysis of almost 3,000 onshore wind turbines — the biggest study of its kind —warns that they will continue to generate electricity effectively for just 12 to 15 years.

    So much for a ROI.
    Similar hypothetical/actual figures with solar IIRC.

  52. Bushkid says:

    You are finished as a functioning society, move to the 3rd world for a better quality of living.

    Thinking about it, Carpe, thinking about it.

  53. Anonandon says:

    There is a lot of ruin in a nation. By the time we come to our senses it will be too late to do anything about it.

  54. mizaris says:

    But, can’t these fvckwits see that coal is also a renewable. Coal, oil, gas…it’s all being produced as we sit here on our keyboards. This old lady planet has been processing this stuff for just a few eons. It hasn’t stopped just because it’s the 21st century.

  55. yarpos says:

    What a blindingly unaware statement for someone in a responsible role. The complete lack of knowledge or common sense is staggering.

  56. egg_ says:

    There is a lot of ruin in a nation. By the time we come to our senses it will be too late to do anything about it.

    Frydemburgers seems to be a Trumble Mini-Me, unfortunately.

  57. Mon says:

    Would this person be ‘besties’ with the Photois (wrong spelling) who with the Liberal version of Get Up trying to un seat Abbott.
    If the Monash group sit on their hands and allow Turnbull to head the next Election, it will be good bye Australia as we know her.

  58. rayvic says:

    In the absence of policy to build more coal-fired power stations or any nuclear power station, the Turnbull government is acting contrary to the national interest.

  59. duncanm says:

    Minister Canavan said he has “asked Ms Schott to explain what evidence she is relying on to make these conclusions”,

    Good. We need more of it. Question the idiots’ assumptions at every opportunity.

    Can we expect an answer from her? I’m guessing not.

  60. Crossie says:

    We are ruled by unelected idiots. We have no right to laugh at Venezuela.

    Just wait until we are ruled by Shorten’s elected idiots.

    And to think that North Korea is heading in the other direction.

  61. Empire 5:5 says:

    On Thursday, at the Energy Users Conference, the government’s chosen head of the chive quango running the electricity supply industry, Kerry Schott, remarked that coal plants could no longer compete. According to The Australian (her speech has not been made public) she said “you are unlikely to see a new coal-fired generation plant unless there is a change in technology and a decline in the price of coal”.

    Good shill. The windmill subsidiary whores who own the NSW Liberal Party will be delighted with the lies.

  62. Tim says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but it does not matter how cheap renewables are, they still CANNOT supply base load power 7/24/365.

  63. Garry says:

    Problem 1 is that until the unwashed masses realise that they are being ripped off regarding energy costs nothing will change. Problem 2 is that the unwashed masses are compensated for rising energy costs so they don’t give a rats. Only people who pay are the usual mob that can and do so that those who can’t, don’t and won’t can live off the proceeds!

  64. Gerry says:

    German companies aren’t investing in wind back home because the Germans know its a dud …….so they invest down here ….great lay waste to our countryside so they can get rich of our subsidies …

  65. Gerry says:

    German companies aren’t investing in wind back home because the Germans know its a dud …….so they invest down here ….great….. lay waste to our countryside so they can get rich of our subsidies …

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